ADVERTISEMENT

>Family Sunday

Treat the family today to everyone's favorite, grilled steak. While you're grilling, add some asparagus. Serve with summer pepper corn (see recipe) and make it a beautiful plate. Add mixed greens and whole-grain rolls. Buy a chocolate meringue pie for dessert.

Plan ahead: Cook 2 extra steaks and save some pie for Monday.

Shopping list: Any steak and asparagus to grill, peanut or canola oil, fresh ginger, garlic, jalapeno pepper or crushed red pepper, red bell peppers, corn-on-the-cob, coarse salt, sugar, salad greens, whole-grain rolls, chocolate meringue pie.

>Heat and eat Monday

Thinly slice the leftover steaks for steak sandwiches on baguettes. Spread prepared horseradish on the baguettes and top the sliced beef with thin slices of brie cheese. Heat just until cheese melts. Serve with baked chips and coleslaw. For dessert, enjoy leftover pie.

Plan ahead: Prepare rice for Tuesday.

Shopping list: Baguettes, prepared horseradish, brie cheese, baked chips, coleslaw.

>Budget Tuesday

Keep costs down and serve spicy chicken skillet. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium-high. Add 1 pound chicken breast (cut into 1-inch pieces); cook and stir 5 minutes or until browned and no longer pink. Add 1 medium chopped onion; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until softened; stir occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies and 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in 3 cups cooked rice and 1 (15-ounce) can ranch-style pinto beans until combined. Heat through. Serve with a lettuce wedge and cornbread (from a mix). Fresh pineapple is dessert.

Shopping list: Canola oil, chicken breast, onion, canned diced tomatoes and green chilies, no-salt-added tomato sauce, rice, canned ranch-style pinto beans, lettuce, cornbread mix, fresh pineapple.

>Meatless Wednesday

We loved basil spaghetti with cheesy broiled tomatoes (see recipe). Add a packaged green salad and garlic bread. Try pears for dessert.

Shopping list: Spaghetti, large beefsteak tomatoes, cooking spray, coarse salt, black pepper, grated part-skim mozzarella, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, fresh basil leaves, packaged green salad, garlic bread, pears.

>Kids Thursday

The kids (and adults) will ask for seconds of turkey meatball subs. Use refrigerated or frozen (and thawed) turkey meatballs; heat and spoon them onto whole-grain sub rolls. Top with heated marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Add baby carrots and celery sticks along with the kids' favorite dip. Munch on sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon for dessert.

Shopping list: Refrigerated or frozen turkey meatballs, whole-grain sub rolls, marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, baby carrots, celery sticks, dip, apples, cinnamon.

>Express Friday

Keeping up the sandwich idea, make avocado-spinach paninis. Divide and layer 2 sliced avocados, 1/3 cup drained, julienne sundried tomatoes in oil, 2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion and 2 cups baby spinach on 4 (4-ounce) split ciabatta rolls. Coat skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium. Place sandwich in pan; weigh down with another smaller skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned; turn. Serve with tomato basil soup. Top fresh strawberries with light whipped cream for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough strawberries for Saturday.

Shopping list: Avocados, sundried tomatoes in oil, red onion, baby spinach, ciabatta rolls, cooking spray, tomato basil soup, fresh strawberries, light whipped cream.

>Easy entertaining Saturday

Invite some lucky guests to enjoy the delicious flavors of Moroccan chicken (see recipe). Serve it over couscous. Add an arugula salad and flatbread. For dessert, top toasted pound cake with leftover strawberries and fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Shopping list: Butter, olive oil, cinnamon, onion, red bell pepper, boneless skinless chicken breasts, garlic, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, orange, golden raisins, fresh cilantro, couscous, arugula, flatbread, pound cake, fat-free vanilla ice cream.

** ** **

>THE RECIPES

SUMMER PEPPER CORN (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: Less than 5 minutes

1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil

2 slices smashed ginger

2 medium cloves smashed garlic

1 teaspoon seeded, minced jalapeno pepper or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 -inch dice (about 2 1/2 cups)

2 medium ears corn-on-the-cob, kernels scraped off (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet on high until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds. Swirl in the oil; add ginger, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Stir-fry 10 seconds or until fragrant. Add bell peppers and corn; sprinkle on the salt and sugar and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. (Adapted from "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge," Grace Young; Simon & Schuster, $35.)

Per serving: 64 calories, 2g protein, 3g fat (37 percent calories from fat), 0.5g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 201mg sodium, 2g fiber.

** ** **

BASIL SPAGHETTI WITH CHEESY BROILED TOMATOES (see NOTE) (Wednesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: Less than 10 minutes, plus pasta

12 ounces spaghetti

3 large beefsteak tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices

1/2 teaspoon each coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves chopped garlic

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

Heat broiler. Cook pasta according to directions; drain and return to pot. Meanwhile, arrange tomato slices in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide and sprinkle cheeses evenly among tomatoes. Broil 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden. In a small saucepan, heat oil with garlic and red pepper 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the garlic, oil and basil to pasta; toss to combine. Serve topped with the tomatoes and additional basil and parmesan. (Adapted from Real Simple magazine.)

Per serving: 600 calories, 28g protein, 22g fat (34 percent calories from fat), 8.2g saturated fat, 72g carbohydrate, 41mg cholesterol, 681mg sodium, 4g fiber.

** ** **

MOROCCAN CHICKEN (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: About 15 minutes

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small thinly sliced onion

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter, oil and cinnamon on medium until hot. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until softened; add bell pepper. Continue cooking 3 more minutes or until pepper is softened. Add chicken, garlic, salt and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes or until chicken is browned and no longer pink. Add juice and raisins. Cook 2 minutes to heat through; stir occasionally. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Per serving: 241 calories, 25g protein, 9g fat (35 percent calories from fat), 3g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrate, 80mg cholesterol, 452mg sodium, 2g fiber.